Bathory – Intro

György Thurzó







In the depths of Csetje Castle there was very little sunlight. As if that were not enough, her cell faced not eat nor west so any slivers of light in the gaps of stone would not reach her. Still, in the darkest hole where she was sentenced to spend her remaining days – how ever many days that may be – she sat hunched in the furthest corner, her pale hand placed against the wall beside her. The silks of her skirts faded with grime and time fanned out behind her gracefully – even in her grim demise.
Whether priests or caretakers I would be the only other person given permission to visit her. In the near distance I heard the tiny scurrying of rats and wondered absently if she had grown accustomed to the diseased creatures or was simply choosing to ignore them. Either way, I knew they must bother the Countess.  I smiled.


Her voice, harmonic and commanding, still spoke with authority. “You have much to gain from my demise,” she said. With her back to me I had no idea how she knew who stood here.


“Your Grace?”

She sniffed. “Your Grace,” she repeated. “The day I entered this world with my first breath was the day my last had become inevitable.”


“You believe this was your destiny?”


“As long as men who hunger for position and power exist.”


“You have no remorse for your actions?”


“Remorse for my actions? I have done nothing!” her voice boomed, echoing off the stone walls.

“Those girls –“
“Those girls were nothing,” she said. “They were nothing. Isn’t that what I was taught? Isn’t that what I had grown to understand? I’m being punished for a position I was put into.”

I knew that was as much of a confession I would ever get from her. She slowly stood, bracing herself against the wall. At first, I thought she had leaned against the wall because she had nothing else to do. Now I knew it was more. As she took slow and deliberate steps toward me shadows and light from the lit torches danced across her hallow and pale features. What used to be the image of a beautiful woman was now one of skin and bones. Four years of imprisoned solitary confinement was not kind to her.


“You are in the last months of your life. You do not deserve to breathe the air on the earth or see the light of the Lord. You shall disappear from this world and shall never reappear in it again. As the shadows envelop you, may you find time to repent your bestial life,” I said.


Even in her weakened state her eyes pierced through me. We could shackle her and cage her, remove her rank and title, but her nobility flowed through her veins and she conjured power even in the depths of a dungeon – a dungeon of her own castle.


“When I was a child,” she said. “Only two years before I were to marry. I watched my father, who was my mother’s cousin as well as her husband, torture a man. He tied his weakest horse to the fence then bound the legs so it couldn’t run. He had his man knock the horse down on its side and cut the belly open.


He then dragged the gypsy thief to the horse and tied him inside of the horse. My father sewed the horses belly back with the man inside. Both screamed through the night and I listened to their cries. I listened until it faded. The horse passed first, of course. The thief had the joy of slowly passing in rotting flesh. The odor offended me.”


She pressed her hand against the small slot in the stone wall where I could see the bones of her fingers curl against the dirt. She was only inches from me. The only gap in the wall to give her some air and food felt too large as she recounted the story. I had heard the story myself from her husband many years ago so it was no surprise. And I had known her father and uncle were dark in their ways.


“I imagine that was hard to listen to as a little girl,” I said.


She laughed but there was no humor to it. “I greatly enjoyed it,” she said. “Just as I’m sure my father had. The odor offended me,” she repeated. “It was the only thing that offended me.” She waved her hands in the air. “I don’t even remember what the thief stole but I remember the ache in his eyes. It was –“ she paused and at first I didn’t think she would continue. “It was empowering to be a young child witnessing the final moments of his life. I was the last thing he saw in life.”


I didn’t react to her words, as I’m sure she wanted me to. There were no more reactions to be had. I had witnessed enough of her to know otherwise. “Now you can have what you want,” she said. I would never learn the meaning of those words for she would be dead by morning. She tucked her hands together and turned her head away from me. “My hands are cold,” she said to no one in particular.


I stepped back away from her cell and the guard nodded at me. He spoke into her cell. “It’s nothing, Mistress. Just go lie down.”

Chapter 1 – Children at the Window

Chapter 1 (unedited)
The gun jolts in my hand, or as Dan would say, the ‘kick’. In the time it takes for me to blink the firing pin moves forward, crushing and igniting the primer in the cartridge base. At this point my eyes have not even completely closed.
When the primer ignites the gunpowder I’m in between heartbeats, my blood is not pumping any faster from the decision I made because my brain has yet to receive the information needed to do this. Gas pressure forces the bullet out of the chamber, its course already determined by the decision I already made half a heartbeat earlier. A decision my brain has not completely processed yet. A decision that I don’t know that I ever will completely process because the events leading up to that are too unreal for anyone to believe, even me who had been through it.
The bullet shell bumps my arm as it leaves the chamber and leaves a slight singe but I don’t notice it. By the time I open my eyes from the reflexive blink the bullet has already left the chamber, made its predetermined course, and impacted the target, a ten-year old child.
Yes, the asshole was a demon child, but he looked like any other kid – he looked like my kid, aside from the solid black eyes.
I watched him drop to the floor. It didn’t happen like you’d expect, not like it does in the movies. There was no grace to it, no faint-like spell.
I never imagined I would be firing a bullet through a child’s head. But that’s the thing with demons – their disguises are meant to cause hesitation. As he collapsed into a heap, his right leg bent awkwardly and his head bouncing off the concrete floor with a thud that could be felt in my legs, I knew how screwed I was.

RELEASE DATE: October 2018


Frequently Asked Questions – Or FAQ You!


What do you think your best work is?

I think my best work to date is probably CLUSTERS. It took me a year of researching and writing to get it done – which is a long time for me. There were times where the writing was so emotional for me I had to walk away before the darkness settled on me too much.

What do you think your worst work is?

Bohemian Grove. I really had no clue what I was doing when I wrote that. I wasn’t even trying to write a book. I just had this story in my head that needed to come out and it did.

What made you decide to become a writer?

It just happened. I started writing one day and found that I couldn’t stop so that’s what I’m still doing.


What is your favorite genre to write in?

Whatever one is calling to me at the moment. I don’t like walls or being told what to do. So I don’t like sticking to one genre either. It makes marketing a lot more difficult. But it’s what I love.

Do you listen to music when you write?

90% of the time. The other 10% is because I forgot to bring my earbuds.

Who’s your favorite author?

Dean Koontz and Stephen King. So when my work (CLUSTERS and Anna Hyde) was recently compared to them, I had a little fangirl freak-out.


Traditional Publishing or Self Publishing?

I still 100% believe that traditional publishing is the way to go for anyone who takes their writing seriously. And the people who don’t take their writing seriously shouldn’t do either. I also believe that once you’re traditionally published, there will be certain manuscripts that will require self-publishing.

If you could make any of your books into a movie, which one would it be?

Definitely Clusters. I just think it’s so aesthetically magnificent that it just needs to be on the big screen. The characters are so real to me that it would be nice to see them three-dimensional. (Four dimensional?) I think Anna Hyde would be fun too, but not sure how anyone could pull it off.

Do any of your characters play off of people you know or actors?

Only one… Jibril from the Bohemian Grove trilogy. That one was Woody Harrelson. Since then, my writing has grown enough that my characters are true to themselves and like all of us, can’t really be ‘played’ by anyone.

Do you ever see yourself in any of your characters?

tumblr_nu9gjlyi8F1tavs5io1_500Gosh, I hope not. My characters are pretty disturbed individuals. I’ve had people say they think Carter is me. But that’s too complimentary. She’s a nice person with no evil intentions.

How do you find the time to write?

You make time. It’s like anything. If you want something bad enough you’ll find a way.

How do you know when you’re done writing a book?


What are you reading now?

Arguably Essays by Christopher Hitchens and a Philippa Gregory story.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on two manuscripts that I’ll be shopping out to agents as I look to take the next step up in my career. One is a straight murder-mystery and the other is historical fiction. I couldn’t decide which one to shop so I’m doing both.

What books do you have coming out?

A zombie anthology, Z Resurrected, next month and Children at the Window – which got pushed back to late fall.

What’s your best advice for aspiring authors?

Everyone has advice and most of it is good advice, but not all of it is pertinent to you. Follow your instinct and ignore the naysayers.


Have any other questions? Post below and I’ll answer!

Children at the Window Playlist

By request, I’m sharing what I listen to as I write. It changes with each book – so here’s some of the songs for Children at the Window.

Slender Man

Pan’s Labyrinth

The Prestige Soundtrack 

I love soundtracks the most when writing – if you know of any that you think fits the bill, let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to enter in the Children at the Window giveaway